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Most Dangerous Bridges in the World by Priyanka ,  Aug 30, 2013

Are you afraid of bridges? I wouldn’t blame you if you were. While most bridges we see and travel across on a regular basis are soundly engineered and reasonably safe, not all bridges are alike.

Bridges go far beyond the sturdy structures you drive across each day. And some of the world’s most dangerous bridges (not to mention scariest-looking ones) were intended for foot traffic. That’s what we’re going to explore here. But more specifically, we’re going look at hanging foot bridges — you know, the kind that leave you dangling above a rushing river, gorge, or some other bit of nature you wouldn’t want to come face to face with on a fall.

Before we take a look at some of the most dangerous bridges in the world, let’s explore some of the basics about these rope-style hanging bridges.

A Bit of Background on Rope Hanging Bridges

When you think of rope hanging bridges, what do you picture? One or two ropes like the makeshift bridges a young scout might set up on a camping trip? Or something more elaborate? Neither is right nor wrong. Hanging bridges come in a vast array of sizes and styles. Some aren’t even made with ropes. They might be made from vines or even tree roots.

One thing these bridges have in common is that they’re primarily utilitarian. Rope bridges have been used throughout history to simplify travel. Herders would move their flocks from one plateau to another across them. Ancient peoples would connect their cliff-side villages with them. In the case of the old Incan handwoven bridges showcased below, even the Spanish conquistadors used them to transport things like canons, and they marveled at the engineering feat.

If rope hanging bridges could support a cannon, they surely must be safe for you to walk across, right? Well, not so fast. Keep in mind that safety is subjective. Different rope hanging bridges were made in different ways. Some, like the Incan bridge, have been very well maintained whereas others have been left to the elements. Never assume by the way a bridge looks. Do some research before exploring these or other dangerous bridges to see if they’re still safe and in working order.

And now let’s get to our list. In addition to our original list of the world’s most dangerous bridges which you can find below, we’ve added the following three new additions to excite your imagination (or perhaps strike a bit of fear). Enjoy.

Q’eswa Chaca (or Keshwa Chaca), Peru

This handwoven bridge is the last operational Incan rope bridge in existence. It has survived this long thanks to a group of families who meticulously maintain the bridge by making repairs every year (such as replacing support cables) as a way of honoring their ancestors.

Keshwa Chaca Inca Rope Bridge

Credit: Rutahsa Adventures (via Wikimedia)

Keshwa Chaca Incan Rope Bridge

Credit: Bob / bridgink (via Flickr)

Kotmale Footbridge, Sri Lanka

This footbridge crosses the Kotmale Oya, a river in Sri Lanka. There’s something hauntingly beautiful about it despite (or perhaps because of) its apparent disrepair.

Kotmale Footbridge

Credit: Anuradha Ratnaweera (via Flickr)

Kotmale Footbridge

Credit: Anuradha Ratnaweera (via Flickr)

Vine Bridges of Iya Valley, Japan

This addition to our list is thanks to a recommendation from our readers in the comments.

Iya Valley is famous for its gorgeous mountains and the old vine bridges that span some of their valleys and rivers. Here’s a beautiful example of the kind of vine bridges you might encounter on a visit.

Iya Valley Vine Bridge

Credit: Jpatokal (via Wikimedia)

Iya Valley Vine Bridge

Credit: Rachel in Wonderland (via Flickr)

Now let’s get to our original list of the world’s most dangerous bridges, featuring a collection of hanging rope bridges for your enjoyment.

Note: This post was originally published on May 11, 2009. It was updated with new content and additional photographs on its currently-listed publication date.

In an earlier post, we have discussed some of the roads that are listed among the most dangerous in the world … for driving.  Today, we’d like to acquaint you with some of the world’s most dangerous bridges that are meant only for walking.  These are the so-called rope hanging bridges. You can find a wide variety of these bridges in countries like India, Malaysia, Philippines, New Zealand, Pakistan, Nepal, as well as in the interiors of some other countries.

A bridge can prove to be dangerous for a variety of reasons; either because it’s very old, narrow, too high up above the land, over a quick river or if the wooden “floor” goes missing.  What makes them dangerous is the fact that in spite of the condition of the bridge, they have to be used; as many a time, these pathways are the main or even the only way for the local inhabitants of a small village to reach a bigger city.   Among all the bridges, the most popular among tourists are the hanging bridges.  Let’s take a look at some of them.

Before we start, I’d like to make a small note that this post is not meant to be scientific or a historical fact-sheet.   The intention is to provide some entertainment in the form of a picturesque fun post that may even hold a surprise element.  If you have ever seen or been on any such bridges, let us know and we’ll add it to the post.  Enjoy the post!

Hussaini – Borit Lake, Pakistan

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Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Northern Ireland

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Aiguille du Midi at the Mont Blanc Mountain, France

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Taman Negara National Park Bridge, Malaysia

That’s the world’s longest Canopy Walkway.

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Hanging Bridge of Ghasa in Nepal

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Siju Hanging Bridge, India

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Some Hanging Bridge in India

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Hanging Bridge at Thenmala, India

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Just some bridge in Philippines

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Repovesi nature park Valkeala, Finland

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Arenal Hanging Bridges, Costa Rica

A three kilometer hike through the Costa Rican rain forest. There are six suspension bridges, with the largest one at just under 100 meters long and 45 meters off the ground.

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Hanging Bridge in Drake Bay, Costa Rica

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Hanging bridge in Bohol, Philippines

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Kambadaga, a village near Pita

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Hanging Bridge at Trift Glacier, Switzerland

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Kakum National Park Canopy Walkway

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The most dangerous bridge on earth is named the "ratline" that crosses the river of gossip. It's a place where tongues, like little rudders on a leaky skiff, manuever their way through murky water. The  bridge that too many go out of their way to cross.

Blocking an existing bridge reminds me of New Orleans and the death that occured in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The police, with guns drawn, blocked a bridge that was a crucial path to safety.  

Shouldn't a bridge be blocked only when after years of cracks and patches, has crumbled and collapsed? A collapsed bridge is only worth rebuilding when what's on the otherside is worth reaching.

It's up to us to cross the bridge that leads to the wide path of ingretity; or the narrow path of inflexability built over the murky river of gossip and destruction.

Capilano Suspension Bridge, Canada

Originally built in 1889, this simple suspension footbridge surrounded by an evergreen forest is very high, fairly narrow, and extremely shaky—the cedar planks bounce on their steel cables as you walk across them. If the bridge doesn’t scare you, wait until the spring of 2011; the Cliffhanger attraction will allow visitors to climb across a series of suspended walkways attached to a cliff.

Where: North Vancouver, British Columbia, across the Capilano River.

Stats: 450 feet long; 230 feet high.

Monkey Bridges, Vietnam

It may seem that only monkeys could make it across traditional monkey bridges—after all, they’re typically made of a single bamboo log and one handrail. However, the name comes from the stooped monkey-like posture you have to maintain when crossing, so as not to plunge into the river below.

Where: Various points across the Mekong Delta at the southern tip of Vietnam.

Stats: These bridges are built by hand by local residents and vary from town to town. Newer ones are made of concrete.

Glen Nevis Wire Rope Bridge

It is a fine-looking bridge and popular in Lochaber, Scotland, having Fort William located at its base. It is surrounded by the Mamore range in the south, while Ben Lewsi which is the highest mountains located in the British Isles, cover the north.,It has one of the three highest waterfalls in Scotland named Steall Falls, where the Allt Coire a’Mhail meets Nevis in the glen. Glen Nevis is a picturesque and well-liked glen in Lochaber, Highland, Scotland

Danyore Suspension Bridge of Gilgit, Pakistan

Danyore suspension bridge is located in Gilgit – Pakistan. It allows vehicles to cross Hunza River. This is a very unique experience and can be a little bit frightening when crossing the bridge.  The old swinging bridge is made of wood and seems ready to break at any moment. In the middle you can feel your vehicle moving as the bridge swings with the weight.  If you make it across the bridge, the road immediately enters a very narrow, dark and scary tunnel.  There is only enough room for one vehicle and sometimes even one vehicle seems like too much! Many tourists take this route on their way to or from Hunza and it should not be missed.

Marienbruecke, Germany

It is not the Marienbruecke Bridge that is going to give you the adrenaline rush once you step onto it but the sheer altitude of it. Located in the Alps of Bavaria, this reliable and secure bridge is near a cliff and castle. Even if it was clear that this bridge is reliable, you’ll still feel terrible with the thought that you need to cross it. The view is fantastic except when you look down.

I love bridges, that is why after Top 10 Bridges of the World i decided to find some other bridges. After great research i decided to present the list of Top 10 Most Dangerous Bridges in the World so here we go…

10. Bryce Canyon’s Natural Bridge Utah, US

top 10 list - Bryce Canyon's Natural Bridge - Utah, US

This is a natural bridge in Bryce Canyon National Park. Its name is Bryce Canyon because a slight uproar in the geology circles, the natural-made structure looks like a bridge, it is in fact an arch.

09. The Immortal Bridge China

top 10 list - The Immortal Bridge - ChinaTop 10 Marvels, The-Immortal-Bridge, China

In the Shandon Province of China the Mount Tai has religious and cultural significance. Its is one of five sacred mountains in Chaina. There is a Bridge in mountains called The Immortal Bridge, this is made up of three huge rocks and some small rocks. Under this bridge there is a valley.

08. The Old Bridge of Konitsa Greece

top 10 list, The Old Bridge of Konitsa - Greece

This is thousands years old bridge located in Greece spans the river Aoos. See carefully, there is a small bell under the top of the bridge. According to people when the bell sound, then its very dangerous to cross the bridge.

07. The Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge Ireland

top 10 list, The Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge - IrelandThe Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge - Ireland

This is rope suspended bridge near Ballintoy, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. This bridge links the tiny Carrick Island with mainland. The bridge attracts tourists. When weather is windy its very dangerous experience to pass the bridge.

06. Pulau Langkawi’s Suspended Bridge Malaysia

Pulau Langkawi's Suspended Bridge - MalaysiaPulau Langkawi's Suspended Bridge - Malaysia

This bridge spans around the gorge on Pulau Langkawi(a largest island in the Langkawi archipelago), Malaysia. The Pulau Langkawi suspended at 687 m above sea level. The view from the bridge is really sizzling. This unique bridge is suspended by only one column support. This 95-yard column is held up by 8 load-balancing cables. The bridge is 136 yards long and 2 yards wide.

05. Puente de Ojuela Mexico

Puente de Ojuela - MexicoPuente de Ojuela - Mexico

This bridge is located northwest of the city of Durango, in northern Mexico. The local name of the bridge is “Puente de Ojuela” (Ojuela Bridge). The bridge was originally designed by the famous Roebling brothers, they also designed the Brooklyn Bridge. When it was constructed, this was was the third longest suspension bridge in the world. Then It was rebuilt recently by the Peñoles Company, the original was scrapped and only the main arches are now displayed at the Torreón Exposition Center.

04. Royal Gorge Bridge Colorad

Royal Gorge Bridge - Colorad

The Royal Gorge Bridge is located near Cañon City, Colorado, within a 360-acre theme park. The bridge deck hangs 291 meter above the Arkansas River, its was ranked highest bridge in the world from 1929 – 2003, when it was surpassed by the Beipanjiang River 2003 Bridge in China. It is a suspension bridge with a main span of 286 meters. The bridge is 384 meters long and 5.5 meter wide, with a wooden walkway with 1292 planks.

03. Vitim River Bridge Siberia

Vitim River Bridge - Siberia

The Vitim River Bridge is located in Siberia, Russia. The bridge is made of wood and not in a very good condition. It’s 570 meter (1870 feet) long. This region gets brutally cold most of the year with temperatures way below Northern Ontario and everything covered in snow and ice.

02. Inca Rope Bridge Inca Empire, Peru

Inca Rope Bridge - Inca Empire, PeruInca Rope Bridge - Inca Empire, Peru

This is a simple suspension bridge over canyons and gorges to give access from Incha Empire. This bridge is suitable only for pedestrians. That was frequently used by Chasqui runners delivering messages throughout the Inca Empire.

This Incha bridge is made up of fibers. By local vegetation, they got these fibers and then fibers were woven together to make a strong rope and then reinforced with wood to make a cable floor. Each side was then attached to a pair of stone anchors on each side of the canyon with massive cables of woven grass linking these two pylons together, with this two additional cables acted as guardrails.

01. Hussaini Hanging Bridge Pakistan

Hussaini Hanging Bridge - PakistanHussaini Hanging Bridge - Pakistan

The Hussaini Hanging Bridge is also know as most dangerous bridge in the world. This is the only one of many precarious rope bridges in Northern Pakistan. Before 1978, this was only way to travel by walking across mountain passes to Rawalpindi. In 1978 Karakoram Highway connected the region, but inter region traveling is still possible via this bridge.

The Hussaini Hanging Bridge, crossing Borit Lake in the Upper Hunza. This rope bridge is very long and very poorly in condition. Many planks are missing, and strong winds shake the bridge like a swing. Despite its dangerous looks, however, the Hussaini is a relatively safe bridge, the visitors with hikers testing their nerves as they carefully work their way across.

Loboc Hanging Bridge, Philippines

Loboc Hanging Bridge was not really built to be a tourist attraction. Before, the villagers from the other side of the end used boats to be transferred to the other region. The locals then decided to build the bridge to make transfer faster. They used bamboo in putting up the bridge. Now, visitors cross the bridge to see what the life or how people live in the other end of the passage. It became part of the Loboc tour experience. The bridge is also your path to be closer to nature. Greeneries and waterfalls surround this bamboo-made bridge. This bridge may not be as tough as other wooden bridges but adventuresome tourists took the risk.

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